The growth of online video is increasing exponentially. According to a recent study, the time people spend watching online video is expected to increase by 20% over the next year (Zenith Optimedia), and YouTube’s chief business officer, Robert Kyncl, predicts that 90% of all internet traffic will be video by 2020 (Variety). As the largest video platform in the world, YouTube is at the epicenter of the online video revolution, and brands that want to capture the attention of the platform’s 1 billion users should become familiar with how to advertise on YouTube, both with influencer marketing campaigns and without.
As influencer reach grows and advertisers are looking for alternatives to traditional media spends and TV, influencer marketing is increasingly becoming a larger portion of brand media and advertising spends. Here are 11 ways that brands can advertise using YouTube display ads, YouTube in-stream ads, influencer marketing initiatives, and other YouTube advertising methods:
Display ads on YouTube appear as banners on the YouTube video page. Display ads on YouTube are part of Google Adsense and only visible on desktop (not mobile).
Standard display ads offer limited formats and capabilities. Though pricing varies, CPMs for YouTube display ads are between $2–$5. (ReelSEO).
YouTube overlay ads appear as banners that cover the lower 20% of a YouTube video. These advertisements are only visible on desktop (not mobile), and YouTube viewers can dismiss the ad at any time.
CPMs and engagement for overlay ads are higher than display ads because they appear over the video. Impressions, clicks, and click-through rates are some of the metrics measurable through overlay ads (Google).
The most popular way for brands to advertise on YouTube, TrueView ads are full-screen ads that appear before, during, or after (pre, mid, and post roll) a YouTube video. They run in-stream and are skippable after five seconds.
TrueView ads can be targeted using a variety of criteria, including demographics, interests, etc. Brands only pay when a viewer engages with the ad or watches 30 seconds. CPVs are between $0.07–$0.12 (Google).
Non-skippable YouTube ads are in-stream ads and are typically over 15 seconds long. Unlike skippable ads, however, non-skippable advertisements do not allow viewers to bypass the ad after five seconds.
Non-skippable advertisements are sold on a CPM basis and typically cost between $15–$20. Because users have to watch the entire ad, they may result in high video abandonment rates (Google).
Bumper ads are non-skippable video ads up to 6 seconds in length preceding a video. Bumper ads are designed with mobile consumption in mind but play across both mobile and desktop.
Bumper advertisements are sold through the AdWords auction on a CPM basis and may work best on mobile with brief, easily digestible content.
Sponsored cards are interactive ads that brands may integrate into videos. Though sponsored cards all function similarly, they are subdivided into video, playlist, associated website, merchandise, fundraising, and fan funding cards.
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A subset of sponsored cards, Shopping Ads implement TrueView and appear, initially, as an icon at the top of videos. Once a user clicks the icon, an ad will appear and display information about products featured in the video (ReelSEO).
Many brands are partnering with YouTube’s top social media influencers (called “YouTubers”) to successfully reach audiences. Influencer sponsorships are extremely effective at driving reach and engagement with audiences as well as providing social endorsements for brands and products.
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Influencer sponsorships on YouTube integrate the brand, product, or service into an influencer’s content so that the video and sponsorship reaches the largest segment of their audience. Influencers are careful to align themselves with brands that fit their interests and audience.
In an integrated sponsored YouTube video, YouTube influencers incorporate the brand into their video by fitting the brand’s product, services, and/or messaging organically into their content. Integrated videos, the most common type of influencer sponsorship, typically run between 30–90 seconds
YouTubers can also create entire video integrations featuring the brand and brand messaging. This type of video typically involves a more creative type of integration and lengthier content planning process. YouTubers are cautious of dedicated videos for risk of alienating their audience.
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Post roll ads and end cards are advertisements appearing at the end of a YouTuber’s video, typically in the last 15–30 seconds. During the post-roll, viewers can be directed to the sponsoring brand’s site or channel.
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In a shout out advertisement, the YouTuber mentions the sponsoring brand’s name and/or product at some point in the video. With shout outs, YouTubers simply mention the brand and may link to the brand in the description box.
With ‘”brought to you by” messaging, the brand acts as a sponsor for the video without an explicit endorsement by the influencer or brand messaging in the video content. The brand may be mentioned at the beginning or end with a simple mention (“This video was brought to you by…”). This type of sponsorship is typically reserved for high-level branding or with YouTubers that only offer this type of sponsorship.